We may laugh when we see some angry fool carrying on, at least until he or she breaks something or hits somebody, or worse. At that point we might unleash our own angry fool, and a battle ensues. We might not so easily see the anger as a parasite within ourselves.

The angry fool most likely got inside us when we were children, placed there by parents, grandparents, teachers, siblings, friends, and anyone else who made us afraid. The anger we learned from them we learned because they inflicted wounds, physical or emotional, on us, and we acquired an alien known as Anger.

Anger is a role we play, not by choice, but if we play that role long enough we begin to believe that the Angry Fool is an aspect of our being. We are likely to defend our anger as justifiable because, after all, we believe the Anger is Me.

I once knew a woman who was quite intelligent, had a great sense of humor, and was regarded by casual acquaintances as the most delightful person you could ever hope to meet, as she essentially was. Except, from time to time she ran the script of her deceased Judgmental, Impatient, Critical mother. Jabbing her finger in the air, she angrily ordered people to do this or do that for their own good. She pointed out their failures and belittled their efforts. It became painful to be in her presence at those times.

I don’t believe the woman was haunted in the conventional sense. Being inhabited by fears from the past that generate anger and its associated ill-will is creepy enough. The good news is that we can free ourselves from the fearful, angry, hateful, childish dictator that smothers our own good Self.

In my own experience, there is no relief in the anodyne of controlling oneself, or the equally popular belief that letting the anger out is a good thing, like opening the relief valve on a steam engine.

By finding the calmness within, we realize that anger is a lie, an untruth, a collection of bad memories. We are not steam engines. We are beings of clarity and peace, if only we can allow ourselves to recognize that truth.